Teaching Children the Art of Contentment
Where in the world did 2021 go? I don't know about you but the last year feels like it was merely a flash in the bucket! Many of us are entering 2022 with high hopes of getting our parenting groove back and bringing more harmony to our home. And while this is an honorable intention, we must meet it with action.
That's what I'm here for! In 2022 I'll be sharing with you actionable steps you can take to put the joy back in parenting. Who could use a bit of that?
First topic of discussion is this idea of raising contented children. After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season full of sugar, new toys, chaotic schedules, and whacky routines we can be left with these small humans whose behavior is completely out of sorts. They had their cake and ate it too, and now we wonder if we have spoiled them completely rotten! I know it may feel impossible to bring things back around but it can be done...
I BELIEVE THERE IS A WAY!
I believe there's a way to choose gratitude and contentment, even in the wake of chaos. I also believe that when we make this intentional choice, we have a MAJOR impact on our children. I've been searching for the "how" to raise contented children and I've come up with 3 keys that unlock this mindset.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret... your child is always watching you! Okay maybe that's no secret, but how often do we intend to raise our child with a certain value and forget that we are the one setting the example? Probably one of the biggest lessons in parenting I have discovered is this: IT STARTS WITH ME!
The choices I make daily, will either set my child up for an attitude of gratitude OR teach him that he must constantly be striving and toiling. So, just like with anything we want to instill in our children, we must look inward first. Full disclosure, this journey is not about just changing our child's outlook on life. It's going to require some self work as well. Are you ready? Here we go!
Key #1: Identify the things you are grateful for daily. Click here to see the "hands on" tool we use in our family! You can build this into your daily routine. Be sure to do it together. Daily gratitude keeps thanksgiving in the forefront of our minds. When we set this example we instill a mindset that's foundational to contentment.
Key #2: Give regularly, even when its not convenient. This includes material and non-material things. When we show our children that others have needs and that our sacrifices can help meet those needs, we give them perspective beyond their own lives. Sit down with your children and have them make a pile of things they don't use or haven't played with in a while. Take them with you to donate them. We recently did this for a family who lost their home in the recent Marshall Fire. It was a great opportunity for my son to learn some perspective and be a part of the solution in our community.
Key #3: Release the pressure to constantly entertain your child(ren). It's okay for kids to be bored. It actually increases creative thinking and encourages children to use their imagination to play. Children learn through play so this is imperative for their cognitive development. Resist the urge to use electronics. Depending on the age of your child(ren), you can set up a space in your home for independent play. With many of my clients, I help them set up a spot in their home with "solo" activities for children. Here are some ideas for you.
So now you have a starting point! With these 3 keys, you will be instilling gratitude, minimizing clutter, enhancing perspective, and saving your own energy! What better way to kick off 2022?!
As always, I'm glad to be a part of your village and you can reach out for support anytime!
Here's to a joy filled 2022!